So I started giving more thought to the Team Bad Ass idea from my last post… as a former and favorite boss of mine used to say, “it’s got legs.”

So I called Gino Calabro last night to bat around the idea for a bit. Gino’s a great local actor – one of Phoenix’s best, and also my good friend. He asked me some fairly tough questions about the TBA idea… you know, like, “What’s it about?” and “What does the team actually do?”

Geez, Gino, like I’m supposed to have ALL the answers. Hahaha…

But it got me thinking… where the hell was I going with this idea? And that’s all it was when I called him. An idea. At best, an interesting premise. But it lacked everything. Plot, characters, backstory, dialogue. You know, things that are kind of important in a movie.

Well, I spent a few hours brainstorming last night and lo and behold…

Man on the Run now has Wild Cards in its back pocket.

The premise is simple:

It’s about a team of highly specialized operatives from all different branches of government, who either knew something they shouldn’t or did something they weren’t supposed to, and ‘died’ or were listed as ‘missing’ in the line of duty. That’s how they came to be on the team — the Wild Cards.

There are five members in the group:

  • King, the leader (Seals/DEVGRU)
  • Queen, the spy (CIA)
  • Ace, the weapons expert (Special Forces)
  • Joker, the joker
  • Jack, the new guy

There have been many Kings, Queens, Aces, Jokers and Jacks over the years. This is just the latest batch (the average life expectancy of a Wild Card isn’t very high). The team members can only get their lives back if they do what the Dealer tells them to.  Oh, did I mention the Dealer?

They get their orders from the Dealer, a high level government official. Though no one has ever met him/her and he/she disguises their voice, it is the Dealer that offers the promise of advancement or release.

I see the Wild Cards being a six episode series, where each episode is told from a different character’s point of view, and features their own unique voice over and style:

  • Episode 1: Jack of Hearts – Jack joins the team and we learn about the Wild Cards through his eyes. Who they are, where they came from.
  • Episode 2: Queen of Diamonds – Queen talks her way into a huge gala in order to steal blood diamonds back from the host.
  • Episode 3: Joker’s Wild – Queen and Jack end up in a hostage situation; Joker comes to their rescue.
  • Episode 4: Ace’s High – The Wild Cards world is turned upside down.
  • Episode 5: Royally Flushed – The villain is revealed.
  • Episode 6: Suicide King – All bets are off as the team confronts an enemy from the past and sets the course for their future.

I’d love to see another story arc start after these six, as well as a couple of one-off episodes. I think something where the Wild Cards come up against another team… Maybe a U.K. team? Based around chess pieces. So there’s a King, Queen, Knight, Bishop, Rook… and maybe even a Pawn (the totally expendable one). The Wild Cards end up on the same mission, but protecting the guy their supposed to kill. I can see Jack and the other team’s Queen getting along well at a mixer, looking for the target, not realizing their both undercover… then they both get a radio transmission to their ear mic that the target is spotted… They both whisper, “Roger that, King” at the same time… then they slowly look at each other in a “do we fight” kind of moment…

Anyway, I’ll have to see where that goes. But that’s where the idea started. Something small, like a snowball, that just keeps getting bigger and bigger as it rolls down a snow covered hill. Then, BLAM! I start getting somewhere.

How about you? How does inspiration strike you and do you have any ideas in your back pocket that could use an hour or two of thought?